Learning to respond with prayer

Originally appeared online in the teen series Turning Point -  August 29, 2023

When I was a teenager, I loved scuba diving and would go as often as I could. To sit on the ocean floor and watch the gentle movement of the kelp forest above me was one of my favorite things to do. The quiet beauty under the water brought me a deep, almost indescribable peace. 

One day, after hours of diving fun, I was unpacking my car and tried to close the trunk while juggling some of my equipment. As I did, I dropped a two-pound diving weight—used to keep me submerged when diving—which struck my foot with great force. The impact was directly on one toe. At first, I felt lightheaded, but I was able to make it into the house.

I think I looked a little ridiculous as I hobbled around. My brother even accused me of faking it. For the next few days, I tried to walk normally. But I couldn’t, and after I limped around for a bit, my dad suggested I have my foot X-rayed.

This caught me by surprise. As a child and young teenager, I’d had many healings in Christian Science by relying on my parents’ prayers. Or sometimes we would call a Christian Science practitioner for help, and I would experience freedom quickly. But honestly, I hadn’t really been praying about my toe. I’d been thinking it would just get better on its own. 

I did get my toe X-rayed, and the X-rays showed that one toe had been broken and was mending crookedly. The doctor suggested the bone be rebroken and set correctly. He said that otherwise the toe would always be crooked. 

Right there I made the decision that I wanted to rely on Christian Science for healing, and I asked my parents if I could call my Christian Science Sunday School teacher to pray with me. My parents fully supported my decision.

My Sunday School teacher, who was also a Christian Science practitioner, encouraged me to pray by seeing myself as spiritual—a child of God, Spirit—faultless and unbroken. After my call to her, I felt a peace that was even greater than what I experienced when I was scuba diving. I felt a powerful presence that was hard to describe, and I knew without a doubt I would be completely healed. In fact, my concern about my toe completely vanished.

Very soon the limping stopped, and I noticed that the injured toe had naturally aligned with the other toes on that foot. I wasn’t surprised, because what I’d felt through our prayers had become so much more real to me than the problem ever had been. The healing was soon complete, and I couldn’t even tell which toe had been broken. 

I felt a powerful presence that was hard to describe, and I knew without a doubt I would be completely healed.

The biggest blessing, though, was my realization of how important it is to respond to every problem or accident with immediate prayer. This prayer included seeing myself as a spiritual idea or expression, not a physical body that could be damaged. I also saw that I could instantly claim my—and others’—freedom from accidents. This passage from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures became the practical wisdom I needed: “Stand porter at the door of thought. Admitting only such conclusions as you wish realized in bodily results, you will control yourself harmoniously” (Mary Baker Eddy, p. 392).

A few years after this healing, I was led to train to become a Christian Science nurse. At the time I really wasn’t sure I was capable of taking this training, but I knew without a doubt that that’s what I was supposed to do. The healing of my toe had been the turning point—the first experience I’d had when I really understood my identity as spiritual. And with this understanding as my foundation, I knew I could support healing for myself and others.

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